October 25th, 2013

4th Quarter Chaos

It seems like my blog is appearing later and later each month. I am really sorry about that, but our business is really hopping these days and squeezing in time to write is a bit problematic. Here are a few things we have been working on during the last month or so:

Giant Watercolor  by E. Smirnova

When our client, Sarah Cobey, contacted us by email to get a framing quote, it was to get a price and framing optins for a very large watercolor by E. Smirnova. The watercolor is 51 x 89 1/2 and heavily rolled. It is, actually, a really interesting image, for it has the look of someone looking out a car window in the rain, behind another car with its brake lights on, approaching a cloverleaf or interchange on a highway. When you stand back a ways, you really see the visual. Up close, it is a bit distorted and almost pointillistic in style.

We decided to frame it in a Studio Moulding Matte White frame that is 1 5/8" wide on the face and 2-3/8" tall outside (moulding number ST23460). We hinged it (in about 48 places since it was so curly) to an oversize piece of Rising Museum Mat Board, which was adhered to a cotton fabric-covered foam board, with 2" of the fabric showing all around the watercolor. OP2 Cast Plexiglass was used (u/v filtering) with white Framespace 3/8" spacers to keep it off the art. We built a strainer to attach to the back of the frame, so that the French Cleat used for hanging would not just be attached to the top rail of the frame. The strainer distributes the weight of the whole package across the french cleat without stressing the top rail.  We carefully packaged it up and had it delivered by our local messenger service, who had to bring it up 3 flights of exterior stairs.  It turned out great and our client was very pleased with the work. Here are some photos below:

Smirnova Watercolor Framed  Smirnova Framed WC with BDF











 Hinging Watercolor to 4 ply board



Detail of hinge before adhering to board








 Trimming mounted WC to fabric covered board




French cleat attached to strainer



  Photos: Top to bottom---

 (1) Fully framed watercolor. Please disregard the reflections of the overhead light fixtures in the plexiglass. 

 (2) Brian Flax standing next to the framed art to show the relative size (Brian is 5'9" tall).

 (3 & 4): Detail of the water-activated linen tape hinge and the hinging process. We have found that only water-activated hinging tapes work on highly textured papers like watercolor paper. Pressure sensitive adhesives tend to let go eventually. We used 48 hinges to hold this baby down (it was very curly).

(5) A shot taken just after adhering the hinged watercolor to the fabric-covered foam board backing. We used a #451 cotton from Raphael's Fabrics. At this point, the board is trimmed to fit the inside of the frame. 

(6) The last image is showing the French Cleat or "Z-Bar" hanger screwed to the strainer at the top of the frame. The other half or " mate" to the Z-Bar gets screwed to the wall and then they interlock with each other. It is a great, strong, positive way to hang a large, heavy piece like this. 

Framing designed and executed by Brian D. Flax, CPF

 Images by kind permissin of Sarah Cobey.

Array of Awards at Nagle Hartray Architects

In preparation for the Chicago Architecture Foundation's "Openhousechicago" event, where 150 different buildings were opened up in a giant open-house October 19-20, we were asked to reframe a dozen architecture awards presented to Nagle Hartray Architecture at 30 W. Monroe in the very cool Inland Steel Building. We put them all in Framatic Fineline frames in white, size 13 x 19 and then hung them using an already-installed Arakawa Hanging System that they use extensively throughout their offices. Matting used was Crescent 2253 White Ragmat 100. We took down the old awards hanging on the wall and reframed some of them, in addition to hanging the new ones. At left is a "before" picture and at right is the "after" image:

Nagle Hartray array   Nagle Hartray awards












The frames in the original array were a white wood, some of which were starting to turn yellow. The Framatic Fineline frames gave a much cleaner look with a slightly more generous size filled by matting.

Images by kind permission of Nagle Hartray Architects.

Framing, photography and installation by Brian D. Flax, CPF

Obama Memorabilia Framing

Our clients, the Donatellis, get around. Literally. They are commercial airline pilots who worked hard to support the election and re-election of President Obama in 2008 and 2012. We had framed a montage of photos, Christmas cards, Inauguration tickets and invitations for the 2008 election cycle  a while back. After 2012, they had more stuff to put in the frame and needed it re-matted and reconfigured. Here is what Dana, our shop manager, came up with. It looks great!

Donatelli Obama collage-detail 1







Donatelli Obama collage-Detail 2


Donatelli Obama Collage-Detail 3








Donatelli Obama collage-Detail 4



















These are great photos, once (or twice) in a lifetime experiences, well worth show casing for posterity.

Images shown by kind permission of the Donatelli's. Photos by Brian Flax

Coming In November

Our client, the marathon king, Steve Hughes, brought in another group of items for us to shadowbox-frame (commemorating his 300th marathon!). We will show you what we did with it. Also, we hope to have photos by our client, Chicago photographer Jonathan Michael Johnson, showing the 13 very large photographic works of his that we framed and installed in a Chicago insurance company's new offices.

Also, we are planning to upgrade our website to optimize it so that it can be easily viewed on mobile phones, tablets and full size computers. We acknowledge the changing landscape of how people view the web and will be addressing that in the first quarter of 2014. Stay tuned.

Thanks for looking at our blog.

--Brian D. Flax, CPF

President, Flax Art & Frame Inc.

For Questions or Comments

 As always, if you have any questions about anything on our website, or would like to make a comment about anything appearing in this blog, simply go to the contact us form and email us. Thanks for visiting.